Hansell sits on semiconductor committee

By on Monday, January 9th, 2023 in Columbia Basin News Columbia Basin Top Stories

ATHENA – Oregon Sen. Bill Hansell (R-Athena) finds himself on a brand new committee for the 2023 session of the Oregon Legislature. He’s been named to the joint committee on semiconductors. Hansell said that there are billions of dollars available to states that work to attract and strengthen the nation’s semiconductor industry thanks to the passage of the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022 by Congress.

“The problem is the state of Oregon is not prepared to receive any of those resources because we don’t have the match and we don’t have the infrastructure,” Hansell said.

That’s going to change, Hansell said. Gov.-elect Tina Kotek is considering a state investment of about $300 million and Hansell said legislative leaders are committed to being a leader in the expansion of the semiconductor industry. He’s especially interested in how the industry could flourish in Eastern Oregon.

He admits it’s unexpected to find himself sitting on a high-tech joint committee.

“I’m the one senator out of the 30 of us that sometimes needs IT help to even turn on his computer, and I’m going to be right in the middle of it,” Hansell said.

He won’t be alone when the session begins on Jan. 17. Rep. Bobby Levy (R-Echo) has also been appointed to the committee.